These tunes are some of the most powerful in history.
We've been listening to Beyonce's legendary Lemonade album non-stop since it popped up on Spotify this week. A fierce record of empowering feminist anthems, we just can't get enough of it. It's got us in the mood for some serious inspirational music from our favourite female artists.
Beyonce at the City of Hope Gala 2018 / Photo Credit: PictureGroup / SIPA USA / PA Images
Respect - Aretha Franklin
Originally recorded by Otis Redding in 1965, this number went on to be the signature track for Aretha Franklin and is generally considered to be one of the most important soul songs ever recorded. It won two Grammys and in 2002 was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress.
Roar - Katy Perry
As Helen Reddy once sang 'I am woman, hear me roar' in the 1970s, so Katy Perry expressed a similiar sentiment in 2013 with her number one hit Roar. Taken from her third major label album Prism, the song is about standing up for oneself and overcoming adversity.
Defying Gravity from Wicked
The signature song from Stephen Schwartz's Wizard of Oz spin-off musical Wicked, Defying Gravity is sung mainly by the character of Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) who decides to go against other people's rules and finally becomes empowered by the fact that she's an outcast.
Run the World (Girls) - Beyonce
Beyonce has been singing inspirational songs since long before Lemonade, with Run the World from her fourth album being one of the more popular anthems. It's got that unapologetic edge of a lot of Beyonce's biggest tunes, and came alongside a video directed by Francis Lawrence.
Bad Girls - M.I.A.
She's well known for her controversial lyrics and politically heavy themes, Bad Girls featured on her fourth album Matangi and is largely about sexual empowerment. The video was shot in Morocco as part of the Women to Drive movement.
I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
First released in 1978, this iconic tune was Gloria Gaynor's only mainstream number one. It sold 14 million copies globally and remains an important song within the disco era - as well as an important song for feminists and the LGBT community. It's the only song to have won the Grammy Award for Best Disco Recording.
Bad Reputation - Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
It wasn't easy for Joan Jett to make it as a rockstar in a music industry dominated by guitar-wielding men, but in the end she wasn't going to let anyone stop her doing what she wanted to do. She expressed as much in Bad Reputation; her debut solo single taken from her seminal album of the same name.
No Scrubs - TLC
A song that speaks to damn near most of the women on the planet who have to suffer the intense discomfort of being catcalled. It's the signature song for 90s girl group TLC and helped their third album FanMail get to number one in the US.
Beautiful - Christina Aguilera
In a world where women are expected to conform to certain beauty standards, this 2002 pop ballad is pretty much timeless. It's aimed at encouraging people to accept themselves and embrace their inner beauty, and went on to win a GLAAD Media Award for the video's portrayal of gay and transgender people.
Born This Way - Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga has been championing originality and individuality for years, and the titular single from her 2011 second album is a powerful anthem for anyone who was born different - which is basically everyone. The song and video alike featured a number of artistic, fashion and musical influences.
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